Alexa Kreizinger

Best practices for order rules

Order rules can help automate your fraud prevention in NS8 Protect. Here's our best practices when using order rules.

One of NS8 Protect’s most versatile features is the ability to create fully customizable Order Rules. These Order Rules are an excellent tool for streamlining your order processing workflow— but like any tool, they’re most effective in the hands of an expert craftsman. Luckily, we’ve compiled a short list of best practices for creating and managing your Order Rules. Keep reading to discover how you can become an Order Rule master!

Know Your Risk Tolerance

Determining your particular risk management philosophy is the first step in creating suitable Order Rules. In the same way that every ecommerce business is unique, each individual business has its own level of risk tolerance. This can be dictated by the industry you’re in, previous susceptibility to fraud, and your personal comfort level.

For example, a merchant who sells inexpensive T-shirts to a niche customer base might have fewer issues with fraud than a merchant who sells expensive gemstone jewelry. The former may feel confident creating a blanket Order Rule to approve low-risk orders, whereas the latter may feel safer implementing verification steps before approving orders of any risk level.

Hierarchy Matters

Because Order Rules run from top to bottom, the order in which they’re arranged will impact your order processing. Keep in mind that the Order Rules workflow will execute the first rule whose conditions are met and then exit the process, meaning that any Order Rules beneath it will not be run. But don’t panic just yet—there’s an easy set of guidelines to follow when determining Order Rule hierarchy.

  1. Positive List: Your first Order Rules should be any rules that identify known good customers whose orders will automatically be approved. Placing these Positive List rules at the top of your list ensures that orders placed by regular customers won’t be mistakenly obstructed by other Order Rules.
  2. Negative List: Next should come any Order Rules that cancel orders placed by bad customers. Negative List rules will automatically cancel orders placed by known fraudsters or other users who have previously given you trouble.
  3. Verification: Once your Positive and Negative List rules have either approved or cancelled known customers’ orders, Verification rules should initiate the Customer Verification process for any remaining orders that meet specified criteria. Rather than verifying all customers, we recommend running Customer Verification on orders that fall into a grey area: too suspicious to approve outright, but not suspicious enough to immediately cancel.
  4. Everything Else: Any other Order Rules not listed above should come last in the Order Rule hierarchy. If you have any blanket Order Rules that automatically approve or cancel orders based on risk level, be sure to place them at the very end of your order processing workflow to prevent them from interfering with any preceding rules.

Keep Order Rules Manageable

Although NS8 Protect allows you to create Order Rules with multiple conditions and complex logic, that doesn’t mean you need to cram all of your order processing into a single Order Rule. As a general principle, each Order Rule should fill a specific role: for example, one Order Rule approves a list of VIP customers, while another Order Rule is used to approve all orders above a certain EQ8 Score threshold, and so on. This prevents user error from overly complex rules and also makes it easier to arrange and configure your Order Rules if you need to change them in the future.

Update as Needed

As your online business grows, your needs as a merchant may evolve as well. Periodically revisit your Order Rules to make sure that they are still attuned to your customer base and risk tolerance—and if not, update them accordingly. There is no limit to how often you can add, change, or delete Order Rules, so you can configure them whenever and however you’d like.

Automation Should Save You Time

It almost sounds too obvious to mention, but remember, Order Rules should make your life easier, not harder! If you find that your current Order Rule configuration just adds to the headache of order review rather than alleviating it, then something needs to be changed. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find an Order Rule setup that works for you.

About the author
Alexa Kreizinger

Alexa works tirelessly to document NS8's products for users and developers. When she isn’t busy writing technical documentation, Alexa spends her time reading, playing video games, and jamming out to 80s new wave.

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